Adreanna Chania Cook
June 22, 2009 – May 17, 2003
On the day of the incident, Cook had just returned home from running errands, including a trip across town to pick up a prescription. She and two of her children, Adreanna and Andre Jr., stayed outside when they got home to clean up a soft drink that had spilled in their SUV. She parked the Yukon on their inclined driveway, facing the garage, as she usually did, turned on some music and started cleaning up the mess.
They were in the car about 45 minutes, performing a more thorough cleaning than she initially planned. Little Andre Jr., who was two at the time, was standing in the front seat, leaning back and enjoying himself. Cook said she occasionally noticed her son touching the steering wheel, but there was nothing unusual or chaotic about his play, and she gently corrected him and went on with her cleaning.
Once they finished the interior in the front four seats, she and Adreanna moved to the back of the vehicle, where they opened the two opposing doors and she began vacuuming while Adreanna stood by.
“We hadn’t been vacuuming five minutes when all of a sudden I felt a slam against my leg,” she recalls.
The big Yukon was rolling backwards. The bumper hit Adreanna in the chest and she flew straight back, landing in the driveway.
Cook said she tried to hold the vehicle back while trying in a split second to think of something she could do. She realized she couldn’t let go, pick her unconscious daughter up and drag her away because she weighed 75 pounds. So she looked to see if the wheels would run over Adreanna if she let go and tried to get out of the way. She thought for an instant the vehicle, with its high ground clearance, might roll right over her daughter without crushing her.
Her instincts told her to jump into the back of the vehicle and try to get to the brake before the Yukon hit her daughter, but when she attempted that, she slipped and fell. The vehicle rolled down the driveway and Cook, who managed to scramble out of its way, rushed to the passenger’s side doorway, jumped in and tried to step on the brake. By the time the vehicle stopped, it was in the neighbor’s yard across the street.
Adreanna, though, was not lying where she had been before and Cook said she realized something had gone horribly wrong.
Emergency medical crews responded quickly after Cook called them from a neighbor’s home. Her cell phone had malfunctioned. But Adreanna was gone. There was nothing emergency crews or doctors at Memorial Hospital could do to save her life.